News
2011

Castes and Higher Ed

by Gloria Nemerowicz
December 9, 2011, Inside Higher Ed

Income and wealth inequality in the United States, which has become even more pronounced since 1967, continues to interfere with the national need for an increasingly sophisticated and skilled workforce and citizenry. Federal financial assistance to financially needy college students is a rational response to this recognized social and economic inequality. About 30 years ago, in ways clearly demonstrated by Tom Mortenson in ”How to Limit Opportunity for Higher Education 1980–2011,” federal and state policy shifts placed an increasing share of the cost of higher education on students and their families, turning higher education into a commodity provided to those who could pay. Primarily as a consequence of these policies and the associated spiraling costs of attending college, the growth in the portion of our population with a college degree has been slow, increasing from 17 to 30 percent over the past 30 years. Strikingly, the gains were made primarily by those from the wealthiest backgrounds (18 percent increase) in contrast to a small 4 percent growth, over the same 30 years, for those in the lowest socioeconomic quartile.

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Strategies to Address the Rising Cost of Higher Education

by Dr. Vinton Thompson, President, Metropolitan College of NY
2011–2012, Presidential Perspective: A Higher Education Presidential Thought Leadership Series

Chapter 6 Three-Year Baccalaureate Degrees Contain Costs and Accelerate Positive Outcomes
One Institution’s Experience

Colleges and universities are under unprecedented pressure to operate more efficiently and effectively. State supported
institutions have lost substantial state support. Most of these cutbacks are likely to be permanent. Independent institutions face increasing resistance to tuition increases and diminished philanthropic support. For the first time in living memory, tuition costs net of institutional aid are dropping at private, non-profit colleges. Philanthropy is unlikely to take up the slack.

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